Ringing In the New Year!


Every summer I keep a journal.  Sometimes, like last summer, the entries are daily and chock full of details.  Other summers I find myself making entries every several days.  I’ve been keeping a journal since 1987, my eighth year as Director.   As you can imagine, while much is mundane and of little interest, there also is quite a collection of human interest stories – some poignant, some funny – buried in those hundreds of pages.   I recently started taking a look back and I was struck at how far we’ve come and how many lives – campers, parents and staff – with whom we have had the opportunity to share great experiences.

Each summer at camp is unique, first due to the natural course of changing personalities and circumstances, and second, by design.  Mindy and I approach each summer with the challenge of creating something new and exciting while holding on to the traditions and familiarity that makes the Timber Lake experience what it is.  This year is no different and we are designing a collection of new programs and activities that we’re sure campers will love.

As I write this on a gloomy December Sunday, just days before we head out mid-week on our annual family vacation, I think of our friends and neighbors who have endured the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  And, like all of us, I mourn for the loss of so many kids and teachers who perished a few days ago, more victims to this country’s epidemic of gun violence.  I think of those kids and their parents and these thoughts, unfortunately, will be coming with me – sad baggage I would much prefer to leave at home.

Camp is a respite from the troubles of our larger world and while we have the power to create a fun, safe, learning environment for our campers and staff, we need to remember that there is so much outside of camp that needs to be done and that can be done to make things better for everyone else.  At camp we do more than just have fun.  We’re teaching values and we’re building character.  Who knows?  Just maybe some of the stuff we’re trying to teach, like a planted seed, may just grow into something.  And, just maybe, one day, many years from now, I’ll open my journal and read about someone who came to camp in 2013, who went on to do something great and solve one of these seemingly intractable problems our larger world now faces.  Not a shabby goal looking forward to the summer of 2013.  Not too shabby at all.

Have a great holiday, a happy New Year and may 2013 be a year when we can say that things actually got better in this world of ours.

Jay Jacobs
December 2012


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